What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. According to the charity Diabetes UK, more than two million people in the UK have the condition and up to 750,000 or more are believed to have it without realising they do. Primarily, diabetes is categorised into ‘type 1’ and ‘type 2’. There is also a category of people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, known as ‘pre diabetes’.
More than three-quarters of people with diabetes have type 2 and this number is rapidly increasing. Research tells us that this is due to obesity, lack of exercise and diets high in sugar and carbohydrate. The remainder have type 1, this is treated with injectable insulin.
How is diabetes treated?
It is recognised that bringing blood sugar levels under control significantly reduces the risks of complications associated with diabetes which include sight loss, kidney disease, leg ulcers, stroke and heart attack. Lifestyle advice about diet, weight management and regular activity is the first step.
Type 1 diabetes will require immediate insulin therapy. Type 2 diabetes will first be managed with an oral drug, if lifestyle changes alone aren't effective. There are several other drugs used in type 2 diabetes, although eventually some type 2 diabetics will require injectable therapy if lifestyle changes and oral drugs have not achieved good sugar control and slowed disease progession.
What is type 1 diabetes?
What is type 2 diabetes?
How to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes